How to Write a Poem

Day One — National Poetry Writing Month http://www.napowrimo.net/

“For our first (optional) prompt, let’s take our cue from O’Neil’s poem, and write poems that provide the reader with instructions on how to do something. It can be a sort of recipe, like O’Neil’s poem. Or you could try to play on the notorious unreliability of instructional manuals (if you’ve ever tried to put IKEA furniture together, you know what I mean). You could even write a dis-instruction poem, that tells the reader how not to do something. Happy writing!”

 

How to Write a Poem

Sit down.

Scribble ideas.

Scratch the surface—

Pen to paper.

Miss the mark.

Pause.

Stand up.

Walk away.

Go outside.

Rake leaves.

Talk to neighbors—

Witty exchanges,

Clever words,

Flowing.

Remind yourself

That you

Were searching

For meaningful words.

Go inside,

Return to task—

Poem-planning.

Dig deep

For expert expressions,

Figurative phrases,

That tell

A secret

Or celebrate something.

Try for a metaphor that

Falls flat,

Like a

Scanty simile.

 

Scratch.

Scratch it out.

Start again.

Stack short sayings

One upon another—

Expressions

That may

Topple over because

There

Is

No

Meaningful

Foundation

On

Which

The

Blether

Blather

Babble

Gabble

Prattle

Chatter

Jabber

Can

Stand.

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